See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you’re on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?” Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor, “Right Where It Belongs”, 2005, from “With Teeth”
Western society is dominated by artificial concepts of ownership. Property, resources, ideas, designs, the “we” versus the “not we” are all surrounded by boundaries determining who is entitled to derive income, who belongs, who is owned and who does the owning.
Fences are an obvious physical manifestation of this concept. This series of images explores fences as physical and metaphorical entities. Their impermanence. The hubris of setting boundaries on that which cannot be bound. The philosophical question of whether fences, of any nature, keep us out, or keep us in.
We surround ourselves in all manner of fences. The language we use to exclude those we don’t want to be a part of the group. The clothes we wear to identify our tribal fellows. The music we listen to, the cars we drive, the ideologies we espouse and every other marker of our boundaries, physical, cultural, intellectual, emotional and more, are all fences.
Some fences are formidable barriers. Some are barely more than symbolic lines in some physical or metaphorical landscape. Some, ironically, perhaps, have open gates allowing access at defined points. Others have fallen, or are in such a state of disrepair that they are only a psychological barrier.
Have you considered your fences lately? Are you owner, or owned? Which side of the fence are you on, or are you ignominiously astride them?